watercooling solution confusion...

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watercooling solution confusion...

Postby ThEvil0nE » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:59 am

Correct me if I'm wrong...

Water in it's pure form has twice or more heat transfer capability compared to any glycol based water coolant. Radiator/engine coolant is a good example of glycol based coolant and so does the ANTI-FREEZE solutions we use on our car to melt those ice on our windshields.

Besides the anti-freezing characteristic of glycol isn't one of it's glycol's characteristic is to raise temperature when heat or load is in it's minimal and more so when under minimal??? Glycol's cooling properties will normalize/stabilize and control heat temps only in extreme heat loads as such in any automotive engines.

Another good example of how glycol will raise temperature is in cigar humidors. A solution of 50/50 glycol and distilled water keeps the humidity in cigar case at levels that molds can not thrive (we do know that molds develop and thrives in cool areas).

My question is... why is such similar solutions used in watercooling pc systems? Seeing some pictures on the internet of how the color of the water solution used in their water cooling system... I can say they're using too much too many of their favorite antifreeze/coolant.

Going back to water... as much as pure water and or distilled water is better for transfering heat it is also a poor coolant because it will cause corrosion and corrosion limits the the transfer of heat unto water.

Now let's see... water has best heat transfer but will cause corrosion. Glycol based antifreeze/coolant (Prestone in example) will work only on extreme temperatures (glycol easily heats up more but very high boiling point) BUT is a good anti-corrosive agent and is a lubricant.

Summing it all up... the only reason I can see why glycol based coolant is added to water in a pc watercooling cooler is because it is a lubricant and ant-corrosive BUT defeats the heat transfering characteristics of water making it bad.

So why is this solution commonly found in watercooling systems??? Why still use glycol based anti-freeze/coolants???
Why not use a NON-Glycol based coolant/lubricant???

:? :roll: :?
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Postby Twisty » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:46 am

you read this?

http://www.motherboards.org/forums/view ... highlight=

I think the main limitation on most water cooled setups is the radiator not the coolent.

Water in it's pure form has twice or more heat transfer capability compared to any glycol based water coolant


Are you refeering to the specific heat capacity or the conductivity, what are your figures?

The solutions manufacturers recommend for use in PC water cooling is water with a little anti corrosive/anti fungal added, it is still mostly water. Some are UV active or heavily dyed so are pretty colo(u)rs even at low concentrations.
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Postby ThEvil0nE » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:29 am

Webster :P wrote:you read this?

http://www.motherboards.org/forums/view ... highlight=

I think the main limitation on most water cooled setups is the radiator not the coolent.

Thanx for the link but it still does not adress to my concerns :? Water is not in question here... It's the added solution/s is what's in question.

Webster :P wrote:The solutions manufacturers recommend for use in PC water cooling is water with a little anti corrosive/anti fungal added, it is still mostly water.

All those are true and also... that's what manufacturers want us to do. They even manufacture their own brand of additives for they only know what they put in it and label it as "best for watercooling". Anyway... that's just all about money

Back to topic... Additives to water is a must (anti-corrosive, lubricant etc etc..) but it's "what type and kind" of additives you have to mix with water. :roll:
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Postby Tolemac » Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:24 am

What you are seeing in most "colored" water cooling setups is not antifreeze, but dye used to make it look good with the lights in the system.

Water that is distilled does not promote corrosion like non-distilled water, which is why most water coolers say to use it. Also, most manufacturers add water additives to keep algae down and to promote lubrication. 8)
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Postby MrCraigCraig » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:42 pm

In an automotive application, the water is mixed with Prestone to form a mixture which can perform the task over a wider temperature range than pure water.

Pure water freezes at 32'F. Anti-freeze/coolant mix can endure temperatures of -40'F or lower without freezing. That's good, because you don't want your engine block to be damaged by the formation of ice in the entire cooling system.

The anti-freeze/coolant mixture also has a higher boiling temperature than pure water, so it resists boiling away when the engine endures high temperatures.

The anti-corrosion aspects of a Prestone/water mixture also are of benefit. Parts last longer.

Systems operating at normal specifications enable the vehicle to perform as intended. This performance is far superior than the alternative of non-performance due to parts failure.

Automotive cooling systems are designed to handle the load put upon them by an engine.

Computer cooling systems should be selected and specified to handle the load put upon them by the computer components.

Even if a given cooling system is not operating at the theoretical ideal of efficiency (an ideal which could be obtained by substituting a Prestone/water mix with some other substance, eh?), it is more important that the cooling system handle the load generated by the computer and the conditions the computer is exposed to. Failure to handle the load risks damaging components of the computer.

Operational efficiency is less important than operational capability.

The operational capability of the computer, as a total system, should meet or exceed the requirements of the computer user.

Efficiency is nice to have, but attempting to achieve an ideal efficiency may bring about an impractical solution to the problem of keeping a computer or an engine properly cooled.

The Prestone/water mixture provides a solution which balances the needs of many requirements.
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Postby ThEvil0nE » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:01 am

I'm sorry for complicating things but I never tried watercooling before :oops:
Or maybe I'm just trying to to look for other additives that might be more suiting and effective :roll: I want to eliminate any glycol in my solution.


Anyway, pls bear with me, I have another question... :oops:
When you see condensation building up on the inside... does that mean the solution is working and the water is actually running cooler? OR it's the other way around :?
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I tried different types of concentrations and this is by far the most condensation I see inside the reservoir.

This is not installed on a running PC. The heat load is only from the pump Image
The water flow is as follows: passive coolers ----> waterblock ----> pump ----> reservoir ----> and back to the passive cooler


TYVM
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Postby Sabrewings » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:46 am

Main purposes of anti-freeze:

1.) Lower the freezing point to near -40F.
2.) Raise boiling point well beyond what an engine can conceivably reach within the cooling system.

These two factors have little to do with a PC watercooling setup, since it does not operate at these extremes of temperature. From a physics standpoint, just use water.
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Postby Twisty » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:12 am

Hmm, I think the condensation in this case is caused by a difference in weather (pressure/humidity) or boiling point of your solution rather than the temperature it is at.

I bet the only thing that is going to make a significant difference to your setup is the amount of air flowing over the radiators, unless you use really high concentrations of stuff in the water.

Tap water has chlorides in it which are corrosive and minerals in it which algae can live off (eventually). Distilled water does not have these, this is why it is recommended.

The PC branded additives I have seen are anti algae and anti corrosive, recommended concentrations are low so your coolent is still almost all water and hence make almost no difference to the cooling power of water. As I have said before the cooling power of water is so great even if you reduce it a little with additives you are not going to make any difference to your CPU temp as you will still be saturating the radiator. You certainly are not going to get a difference in coolent temps when only putting 10W or so heat into the system.

BTW your setup looks really tidy/innovative is that all mounted on the side of the case? I'd love to see some more detailed pics of you have them.
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Postby ThEvil0nE » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:20 pm

Webster :P wrote:BTW your setup looks really tidy/innovative is that all mounted on the side of the case? I'd love to see some more detailed pics of you have them.

TY... yes they're mounted on the right side panel. It's just a mock-up setup for now, the project is still in progress. You can check my project log HERE.

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Left window panel is tinted to match blue tubings
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I still don't know how effecient the coolers are. They're dual-line 12" aluminum coolers. Does the amount and volume of water a big factor on a watercooling system? Which would be a better cooling setup... more volume of water or lesser volume? As an example which is better? 2 liter water or 1 gallon water?
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Postby MrCraigCraig » Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:29 pm

Depends on the amount of airflow available to cool your radiators.

While a gallon has more thermal mass than 2 litres, eventually that mass will be heated by the computer components.
The larger thermal mass (gallon vs. 2 litres) will take longer for changes in temperature (increases or decreases) to affect its' average temperature. A smaller thermal mass (the 2 litre size) will react more quickly to changes in temperature.

Both the gallon and the 2 litre resevoirs of coolant will eventually reach a temperature equilibrium determined by the amount of airflow available to cool the radiator(s).
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